What is the perception you have of the world, of faith even life in general? Now, how did you come up with that perception?
Your perception is important, but even more important is the lens through which your perception is developed.
One night a powerful man, both of political and religious influence, approached Christ. He was captivated by how Jesus viewed people, culture and God. I believe it would be safe to say at times he was mesmerized by the teachings of Jesus. The disciple John gives us a detailed account of the conversation in John chapter 3.
John 3: 1-3,
There was a man from the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to him at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one could perform these signs you do unless God were with him.” 3 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
One can only imagine the look on Nicodemus’ face when he heard the words, “You must be born again.” You have probably heard the saying, “Can’t see the forest for the trees.” Well, that is what happened to good old Nicodemus. He argued back that he was an old man and could never enter his mother’s womb again to be reborn. Then Jesus went on to explain,
“Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6).
This is a very important truth, we are all born naturally, but we must also be born spiritually.
Paul explains that at the moment a person trusts in Christ for their redemption, they are made a new creation in Christ. The old has passed away and the new has come. The sinner is given forgiveness and made righteous in the sight of God through faith in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Now, once being made a new creation in Christ, Paul explains how we begin to see ourselves differently, see others differently and even see the world differently.
“For who has known the Lord’s mind, that he may instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).
God wants you to have the MIND of CHRIST in All Things!
With everything going on in the world today, HOW can a believer stay calm? Have peace? Continue to Worship…to Pray…to Give and be Generous with their Finances…To Look for Opportunities to Share the GOOD NEWS OF JESUS?
This comes from seeing all things through the lens of the Mind of Christ, and not simply the natural mind. We grow and develop with spiritual maturity when we perceive all things in light of God’s plan and purpose.
Spiritual Maturity is being able to see the natural world through the eyes of the spiritual.
If we take a scroll through the Scriptures and examine the life of Jesus, we can ascertain how He perceived His purpose and plan. Let’s take a glance at some passages that describe the mindset of Jesus and see how your perception can be changed by the Mind of Christ.
- Seeks to GLORIFY God in All Things.
John 17:5, (Jesus), Now, Father, glorify me in your presence with that glory I had with you before the world existed.
Jesus always sought to glorify God with His actions. The Apostle Paul Christians in Corinth to not forget who they were and that a believers greatest purpose is to glorify God in all things.
“Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you,whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20).
- LOVES God and desires to OBEY Him.
In the Gospel of Matthew 22:37, we read Jesus saying,
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
In John 8: 29, Jesus says that He always does those things that please His Father.
Everyone wants to be blessed. Yet in order to be blessed, you must obey…To obey you must be able to trust…to trust someone you have to love them. In order to love someone, you must KNOW them! Think about it. You have to KNOW Jesus, not just about Him in order to Love Him. If you Love Him, then you will trust Him. If you trust Him, then you will Obey Him. If you obey Him, you will be Blessed!
Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word” (John 14: 23).
- Has COMPASSION for People
The disciple Matthew records how Jesus went to the surrounding towns and villages of Galilee and preached His Gospel of Good News! Everywhere He went He preached and healed the sick and brokenhearted. The scripture states that Jesus “felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matt 9: 36).
The heart of Jesus is burdened for humanity. We must never forget that it was His love for people that brought Him from heaven to be born of a virgin, live a sinless life so that as the sinless Son of God, He could take the sins of the world to the cross in order to offer us eternal life!
How much better would our world be if we saw people the way Jesus sees people?
That leads to this fourth perception of the Mind of Christ…
- Is Driven to LEAD People to FAITH in Jesus.
If you ever doubt why Jesus came, simply read His own words, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
To be honest, I am very grateful that Jesus never got sidetracked from His purpose for I am one of those lost sheep that he came to find. I’m grateful that God is longsuffering and not willing that any perish ( 2 Peter 3:9).
When one receives Christ and the grace He offers, it should motivate them to rise up and be an ambassador for Christ themselves and have a heart for others who are far from God.
2 Corinthians 5:20 says,
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.”
- PRAYS over All Things
At the height of His earthly ministry, Jesus couldn’t go anywhere without large crowds gathering. We read in various Scriptures how they would line up outside the home where Jesus would be staying. On a couple occurrences, they crowds followed Him for days without stopping to eat and rest. With the pressure upon Him, how did Jesus know when it was time to leave one city to go to another? How did He keep His own Spirit strengthened and encouraged?
Luke 5:16 gives us some insight. It states,
“Yet he often withdrew to deserted places and prayed.”
Think of the weight of that statement. Jesus, the Son of God, intentionally made time to get away from the busyness to be alone with HIs Heavenly Father.
If Jesus had the wisdom to make time to be alone with God, how much more valuable is it for you and me to set aside time for prayer? This world is chaotic. Spiritual warfare is a reality. You will face pressure, pain, temptation, fear, depression, confusion and many other struggles. Yet, in all these things, we can have the mind of Christ. Taking time to be alone with God will help refocus your perception and strengthen your faith.
Philippians 4:6 says, “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”